Israel has recently upgraded its Arrow anti-ballistic defense system. The significant improvements are aimed at intercepting medium-range rockets and missiles in addition to protection provided by its Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system. The upgrades are meant to tackle Syrian, Hezbollah threats.
Attempts by the U.S. to destabilize Syria will end up hurting Israel, Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani said Sunday, accusing the West of interfering in the Syrian crisis without the approval of the United Nations Security Council.
Meanwhile in Syria, the rebels have released a video allegedly showing Iranian mercenaries and Revolutionary Guard officials that were kidnapped by opposition forces on Saturday. On Saturday, Iranian state news agency IRNA quoted an unnamed official in Iran's embassy in Damascus as saying that 48 pilgrims were seized by "armed groups" on the Damascus airport road as they returned from a religious shrine.
Israeli security officials are concerned that cells associated with al-Qaida could carry out terrorist attacks against Israel from Syria. Growing involvement of al-Qaida operatives in the fighting against the Syrian army has been noted in past weeks. However, there is greater concern that global jihad activists will take advantage of the security vacuum in Syria after Assad's fall to turn the country into a global jihad bastion and increase attacks on Israel.
Palestinian Authority's bid to upgrade its status at the United Nations would find majority support there, however it would not bring them closer to statehood and peace with Israel, Israel's UN envoy Ron Prosor said on Sunday. Prosor said the Palestinians have a "guaranteed majority" in the 193-member General Assembly.
However, while Palestinian leaders are due to meet ministers of the representing states of the Non-Aligned Movement to discuss the renewed attempts to gain Palestinian statehood, Haaretz has learned that Israel is delaying the required transit passes into the West Bank.
The foreign ministers of six Gulf Arab countries will meet in September to discuss a plan for unity, Saudi's Arab News reported on Sunday. Recently, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah proposed integration with Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman in response to uprisings in the Arab world and Iran threat.
The massive U.S.-based music festival Lollapalooza will be coming to Tel Aviv in the summer of 2013, the show's producers announced on Sunday. Dozens of international acts expected to take part. Its slated Tel Aviv date would make Israel the third country visited by the three-day extravaganza, following Chile and Brazil.
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